The Cyprus Society for the Protection of Animals on Monday criticised the amended Animal Welfare Law passed by parliament last week saying it will prove to be ineffective.
“Based on our many years of experience, we truly believe that amendments made to the Law will prove to be ineffective and problematic while the suffering and abuse of animals, mainly dogs, will rise,” the Society said in a statement.
“We also believe there will be a large abandonment of dogs while the number of dog cages will rise,” it added.
The new bill, drafted by the agriculture ministry as part of government policies to reinforce animal welfare, beefs up protection for domesticated animals. And it introduces stiffer fines for abuse.
Animal activists had called for a clause to have been included for a total ban on keeping animals in cages but this did not make it in.
Under the changes, authorities can now take away an animal from their owners in case of abuse and entrust its care to a “suitable person,” without lengthy court proceedings.
From now on it is also forbidden to tie up a dog or a cat; dogs and cats may be tied briefly only, for example while taking them for a walk or when in a public place.
The amended law also prohibits owners from keeping dogs and cats on rooftops, balconies or verandas, since these practices result in the pet being left isolated and exposed to the elements.